Maximising and satisficing opposite or equivalent concepts?

Arjen van Witteloostuijn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper a proposition is defended that there is no real contradiction between choice theoretic 'maximising' notions and behaviourist 'satisficing' principles. If the often pronounced behaviourist critique of the maximising postulate is compared with well-designed choice theoretic models, then the apparent contrasts disappear. Behaviourist as well as choice theoretic frameworks permit the introduction of uncertainty and routines. In fact, both approaches lead to comparable results. Maximising and satisficing decision rules are equivalent rather than opposite principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-313
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988


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